The country of Kenya is located on the Equator in Eastern Africa and is bordered by Somalia, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. Kenya is about the Size of Texas. Its climate ranges from hot and arid in the northwest to tropical wet in the southeast. Kenya's terrain is diverse and includes low plains, highlands, mountain ranges, and The Great Rift Valley. It has a large number of mineral resources, most notably gold, rubies, and Limestone.
Kenya has a population of over thirty million. The people of Kenya have a low life expectancy of only 46 years. Kenya has a relatively high literacy rate compared to the rest of Africa, 78% of its people can read and write. The primary languages of Kenya are English and KiSwahili. Most of the Kenyan population is Christian with many Muslims and indigenous beliefs.
Kenya is Home to some of the first civilizations on earth. Its first inhabitants came from Ethiopia. Later Bantu and Nilotic groups migrated into the region.
The first Europeans to colonize Kenya were the Portuguese, who established trading posts on the coast of Kenya during the 15th century. By the end of the 17th century Arabs and native tribes had driven out the Portuguese and established their own trading posts. The Arabs ruled the country from the island of Zanzibar. The British leased the coasts of Kenya from the sultan of Zanzibar in 1887. In 1895 Kenya became a British protectorate and it became a colony in 1920.
After World War II the natives rebelled in the Mau Mua Rebellion which was suppressed in 1956. Kenya gained its independence in 1963 as a constitutional monarchy; however it becomes a republic the following year. Jomo Kenyatta was the country's first president.
Mwai Kibaki was elected president in 2002 control of the government by a single party. Kibaki won the presidency with 63% of the votes. This marked the end of an authoritarian government whose poor management led to great poverty for many of the country's citizens.